I write to let you know about FEMA’s announcement about federal aid programs for Vermont disaster recovery,http://www.fema.gov/news/newsrelease.fema?id=59389. Libraries now come under the “essential community services” category and may be eligible for aid. Hazard mitigation aid for cultural institutions, while difficult to obtain, provides another opportunity for support. COSTEP MA was able to secure funding for a hazard mitigation project following a federally declared disaster in 2010. (The grant was finally approved a few weeks ago; we submitted the first version in 2010 and revised it twice before acceptance.)
Through your avenues, I encourage you to let the cultural heritage community know about these funding opportunities and to urge attendance at the applicant briefings. (The locations and times will be announced on Vermont Emergency Management’s website; information about the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program is already online.) Believe it or not, there are millions of dollars available, but cultural institutions rarely take advantage of this aid, and state agencies don’t think about cultural institutions when aid becomes available.